Tower Garden Curriculum for Third Grade

Tower Garden® Curriculum that Matches Academic Standards

3rd Grade Overview

Tower Garden Curriculum for 3rd Grade PDF

More Tower Garden Curriculum

This curriculum will help you take your 3rd graders through a 6-week, Tower Garden growing cycle. Although a wide variety of crops can be grown indoors and outdoors on a Tower Garden, the following lettuces grow well inside, provide different shapes and textures for students, and should be ready to harvest in six weeks: arugula, red salad bowl, buttercrunch, and black seeded simpson.

Each activity is mapped to an academic standard in science, math, and English. The lessons can be accomplished in about one hour per week.

If you need supplies and don’t have a distributor you can order rockwool, mineral blend, and more from my website at skoontz.towergarden.com. If you need help, email me at steve@tgardener.com. I’ve been supporting teachers who use Tower Gardens since 2015.

Overview

Week 1
Build the Tower Garden and Plant Seeds

Week 2
Fill the tub with water, nutrients, and balance the pH.
Place seedlings into the Tower Garden

Week 3
Fill the tub, balance the pH, and add nutrients

Week 4
Fill the tub, balance the pH, and add nutrients

Week 5
Fill the tub, balance the pH, and add nutrients

Week 6
Salad Party

Six-week Driving Question: What do plants need to grow?

Week 1

Build the Tower Garden and Plant Seeds
Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the basic needs of plants to grow, develop, and reproduce.

Investigate what a seed needs to sprout and grow. Include difference between growing outdoors and growing indoors.

The first week you’ll lead students through putting the Tower Garden together and planting seeds.  An overview video of setting up the Tower Garden can be found here: www.tgardener.com/setup.

What you will need.

  • 2 – 32 oz bottles – (Juice bottles work well)
  • Construction paper
  • If you want students to know which seedlings are theirs, then get enough empty butter containers for each student. If not, then use the seed starting tray that came with the Tower Garden.
  • Seeds – arugula, red salad bowl, buttercrunch, and black seeded simpson are good choices.

Building the Tower Garden with your students

Download the Tower Garden Curriculum for Third Grade PDF for instructions on building the Tower Garden.

Plant Seeds

You will find the seed starting procedure available for a free download at www.teacherspayteachers.com/store/tgardener

Plant seeds in rockwool. (Good seeds to plant for different textures and shapes: arugula, red salad bowl, buttercrunch, bok choi, and black seeded simpson. These will be ready to harvest in 6-7 weeks.)

Give each student an empty butter (or similar) container that will fit two rockwool cubes. Cut construction paper the size of the containers to cover the rockwool. Have students pour seeds onto the construction paper, pick up 6 or 7 seeds and sprinkle them into the hole in the rockwool. Write names of students and lettuce varieties on masking tape and place masking tape on side of container.

Each day, ask students to check if seedlings have sprouted and replace the water in the butter container with ¼” of fresh, pH adjusted water. At the first sign of growth (you’ll see a little bit of fuzz on the seeds.) uncover the seedlings and place them on the Tower Garden base and turn on the lights. Continue to replace the water with ¼” each day. If planted on Monday, most lettuce seeds will have sprouted by Wednesday.

Week 2

 How is water important in a plant’s growth cycle? 

  • Investigate how a plant takes up water from the roots to the leaves.
  • Investigate how a plant needs the proper pH to grow well.
  • Investigate how a plant takes up nutrients from the soil in traditional gardening and through the water in aeroponic gardening

Fill the tub with non-softened water. (About 3 inches from the top.) Measure 200 ml of Tower Tonic ‘A’ and 200 ml of Tower Tonic ‘B’ and pour into the tub. Balance the pH of the water.  (See directions on the pH test kit.)  If the pH is off, adjust it gradually by using 10 ml at a time of pH up or pH down, retesting each time.

Place the seedlings into the Tower Garden pots.

Plug the pump into the timer and set it for 15 minutes on, 45 minutes off for indoor growing. If you have a pump with an automatic timer, use the ‘I’ setting for Indoor growing.

Week 3

How does weather affect crops?

Obtain and combine information to determine seasonal weather patterns across the different regions of the United States

Investigate how changing weather affects crops in different parts of the country.

Develop solutions that could be implemented to reduce the impact of weather related hazards.

What hazardous weather affects crops and what are ways to minimize the damage to crops due to heavy weather?

Ask students to fill up containers and pour water into the tub to fill it to 3 inches from the top. (About 2 gallons will be required)  Add 50 ml of Tower Tonic A and 50 ml of Tower tonic B to the tub.  Check and balance the pH if required.

Week 4

Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Cut several lettuce leaves to look at their structure.

Pull one of the netpots to see how the roots are growing.

Investigate the different parts of the plant and how each helps the plant to survive and reproduce.

Add water to the tub. (About 2 gallons of water will need to be added.)  Pour 50 ml of Tower Tonic A and 50 ml of Tower Tonic B into the tub. Balance the pH of the water in the tub.

Week 5

Estimate and measure the mass of objects in grams (g) and kilograms (kg) and the volume of objects in quarts (qt), gallons (gal), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step real-world problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units (e.g., by using drawings, such as a beaker with a measurement scale, to represent the problem).

Choose and use appropriate units and tools to estimate and measure length, weight, and temperature. Estimate and measure length to a quarter-inch, weight in pounds, and temperature in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Generate measurement data by measuring lengths with rulers to the nearest quarter of an inch. Display the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units, such as whole numbers, halves, or quarters.

Take the temperature of the water in the tub and compare it with the water coming out of the tap. Cut lettuce leaves and compare the length.

Ask students to fill up different sizes of containers estimating how much water will fit in each one, then pour water into the tub to fill it to 3 inches from the top. (About 2 gallons will be required)  Add 50 ml of Tower Tonic A and 50 ml of Tower tonic B to the tub.  Check and balance the pH if required.

Week 6

Plants should be large enough to harvest and eat. If not, wait another week.  Have a salad party with students tasting the lettuce and deciding which varieties they like and which they don’t like.

Invite a younger class in to share the lettuce while students talk about what they’ve learned about plant growth. 

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